Tag: GEDMatch


Recently, I saw someone post about visualizing their DNA match network. They were doing this as a service. You would order a visualization and they would build one for you and send it to you for a nominal fee. It sounded and looked awesome. I noticed they were using an open source program, so I thought to myself, if they can do it, so can I. So, that’s what I did…for the most part.

The open source program is called Gephi and it’s described as the leading visualization and exploration software for all kinds of graphs and networks. And first glance it can seem scary and overwhelming, and it is in some respects. In my job and on my own time, I’ve worked a lot with sets of data; organizing them, analyzing them, morphing them to work in another way, etc. This seemed like something I could do.

Finding the Data

The first issue was figuring out how to get my match data into a format that the software needed. I first tried to get all of my match data exported from Genome Mate Pro, which I was able to do. I just don’t know how to massage it into what I need, yet, at least not without a lot of manual work. So, then I looked at some of the files that are created when I run DNAGedcom to get my match info for GMP. The Ancestry DNA files looked good. They had mostly what I needed. I had to do some minor changes to the files, but overall it worked.

After a bit of a learning curve and some Googling, I was able to get a pretty decent looking network visualization of (most of) my Ancestry DNA matches. I say most since I’m not completely sure if I have all of the connections included. Here is the final visualization, without the names.

Click for bigger version

Here is a quick overview. The size of the circles are based on how many centimorgans (cMs) I share with my match and it also shows how closely related we are.  This graph only includes matches with more than 20 cMs, so about 4th cousins or so. I color-coded a few of the major lines that I knew based on the match. I am the large white circle in the center. My mother is the large yellow circle at the bottom.

The purple-ish group at the top is from my Corrigan line as the larger one is my father’s cousin. The red group at the left, I think, is a collection of Polish matches. The small teal group under the red is my Thielke line as the larger teal circle is my mom’s cousin. The pinkish group under that one is my Van Price/Van Parijs Dutch side. The green and orange on the bottom right is mainly my mother’s French-Canadian matches. There are a lot of descendants from those original French immigrants as you can see by all of the inter-matching between them. The single pink circle above me is my one and only Zalewski match. You can see why that line is difficult to research. The rest of the randomly colored and white circles are either one-off matches or matches I have yet to organize.

Now What?

My next steps are to not only analyze this graph to see if any odd connections pop out, but also to try to do this with my other data including 23andMe and/or Family Tree DNA. I am also going to try to do it with my Genome Mate Pro data as that has everything in one place, including GedMatch matches. Seeing the software take all of these matches, which are at first in one big blob, and organizing it into the graph above is cool to see as it moves around like it’s alive until it settles.

ancestrydna-zalewskiOne of those days I was waiting for finally happened. A DNA match contacted me that is from the Jacob Zalewski line that I had always assumed was the brother of my great-great grandfather, Frank Zalewski. This proves that Jacob and Frank are definitely related. They are probably brothers (as all other evidence points to) but not proven 100%.

Unfortunately, the match comes to me from AncestryDNA. While AncestryDNA is one of the most popular, it also gives the least amount of advanced tools. I cannot see where we match on our DNA as there is no Chromosome Browser like every other site has. I have contacted my match and asked if they would upload their data to GEDMatch so we can do the more advanced matching. I’d really love to see which part of my chromosome comes from my Zalewski line. That could point me towards more Zalewski relations and possibly finally breaking down more of that monstrous Zalewski line brick wall.

The possible Jacob-Frank connection all started back in July 2009 when I noticed a Jacob Zalewski family living with and quite near Frank and his family in Milwaukee in multiple city directories. After many years and finding more and more cross-family connections, I just assumed they were brothers as the pile of evidence was getting quite large. Though, I was always waiting and hoping for a DNA connection. I was planning on trying to convince a few distant cousins from that line that I had found to do a DNA test (I would probably even have paid for it.)

I’m excited. We’ll see where we go from here.

After getting my DNA tests completed and for the past few years pouring over that data using tools like GEDMatch, and most recently, Genome Mate, I’ve started to accumulate Most Recent Common Ancestors (MRCA) with some of my DNA matches. How to figure those out is another post entirely.

Granted, I don’t have a lot of confirmed MRCAs, yet, but I do have a few. You can use this data to make a chromosome mapping. Genome Mate does this for you in the software, but there is also a web version (seen below) that will do it for you. This will paint all of the segments on your chromosome that match those ancestors. Once you get a lot of confirmed MRCAs, the mapping looks really cool. Mine is getting started.

Click for full version.Do your own here: http://kittymunson.com/dna/ChromosomeMapper.php
Click for full version. Do your own here.

As you can see, I only have 2 MRCAs confirmed, one on each side. My paternal 3rd-great-grandparents, Michael Troka and Josylna Grabowska and my maternal great-great-grandparents, Carl Last & Augusta Luedtke.

The Troka connection is not yet fully confirmed, but the information we have is pretty solid. The Last connection is confirmed as I’ve matched up family trees with a 3rd cousin I found via a 23andMe match. I have a few more matches in progress that are close to finding information on our MRCA. It can be tough work sometimes, but there is hope of finding all new ancestors.

This is Part 4 in a series of post dedicated to finding out more information about your DNA test results from 23andMe or Family Tree DNA. If you haven’t read it, yet, view Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Today we’re going to look into the last set of DNA that you can use in your research, Autosomal DNA. This is DNA which is inherited from the autosomal chromosomes. Humans have 22 pairs of autosomes and one pair of sex chromosomes (the X chromosome and the Y chromosome). Each pair of autosomes is inherited the same way.

For each pair of autosomes, you received one from your mother and one from your father. Before the autosomes were sent to you, they were randomly jumbled in a process called recombination. Your parents also received their autosomes from their parents who also recombined them. So, your autosomes are random mixtures of all of your ancestors autosomes. All branches of your ancestry contribute to your Autosomal DNA. Obviously, the more distant the ancestor is, the less you share with them. Closer relatives will share larger fragments with you compared to distant relatives.

For example, this chart below shows, on average, how much autosomal DNA you share with specific relatives:

Public domain Image from Wikimedia Commons. Click for larger.
Public domain Image from Wikimedia Commons. Click for larger.

This is the DNA that most places use to match you up with potential cousins using Relative Finder from 23andMe or Family Finder from Family Tree DNA. If you have shared genomes with people on 23andMe, you can go to “Ancestry Labs” on the menu and choose “Family Inheritance: Advanced” to see which parts of your autosomal DNA you share, if any.

GEDMatch.com can also compare your Autosomal DNA and show you, in great detail, where you match with other individuals.

I hope you learned something. Remember, DNA testing is much more useful with an already sourced genealogy paper trail. Otherwise it will be very difficult to see how you relate to your DNA matches.

DNA KitsIn the last week or so I’ve dug deeper into my DNA testing results mainly from my 23andMe test. I hope to have this be my first post in a “series” of posts about DNA for genealogy since I’ve done a lot of other research about different types of information found in your DNA.

Another genealogist on Twitter pointed me to a genetic genealogy matching site called GEDMatch.com. The site allows you to upload a copy of your raw DNA data from 23andMe or Family Tree DNA and then let you do all sorts of matching and comparing with it. The site’s user interface could use a bit of work, but we’re pretty used to that in genealogy (I’m looking at you Find-A-Grave and almost every USGenWeb site.) But underneath the hood of the site, it’s very powerful once you figure out how to use it correctly.

The first step in getting your data to GEDMatch is to get it from your original testing site. I went with 23andMe, but it seems Family Tree DNA is just as simple. Sadly, Ancestry.com does not yet allow you to download your raw data from their site, but hopefully they will add this in the future. It literally is your data.

The steps to getting this file from 23andMe is pretty easy. Even if you don’t plan on uploading it anywhere else, it’s always nice to have a copy locally as a backup.

  1. Log into your 23andMe account.
  2. At the top-right of the site, mouse over the “Account” option and select “Browse Raw Data.”
  3. On the next page, near the top, there should be a “download raw data” link. Click it.
  4. This will bring you to the download screen. Fill in the information and make sure to select “All Data.”
  5. It should then ask you to download a compressed ZIP file. This is your raw data.
  6. Feel free to do this with every account you manage, if you have more than one.

Once you have that information on your computer, browse over to GEDMatch.

  1. You’ll need to scroll down a bit to the “Upload Your Data Files” section and click on “Upload your 23andMe DNA raw data file”
  2. They have another list of steps to take to get your raw data, feel free to look it over again.
  3. Fill out the form as they tell you and upload your raw data.

Now, it will take about 24 hours for them to process your data, so check back. Come back here in the next day or so for the next in the series tentatively titled, “Now What? Can They Clone Me?” Visit Part 2 here to learn about the YDNA and mtDNA lines.

Image from nosha@flickr